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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Possible 1953 Esquire, seeking info

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by pulpadded, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    That belly cut definitely reduces the possible value greatly as well as the bridge having cuts in it and metal removed.


    Please remember the vintage market is not what it was five years ago.


    IMO due to the belly cut on the body you might find more value in parting it out.


    A safe evaluation would be to add up what you can get for the parts separately and go from their.


    Too bad about the body and bridge because everything else visually can be recreated.


    I don't think you'll get a definite statement of saying "it’s worth this much". No one can because it requires the right buyer to want it at the seller's price. It’s not worth anything until someone gives out the money for it. So you might get a price range.

    Another reason some knowledgeable dealer may be reticent to say even if it was an in hand appraisal is as I mentioned before; the market is not very stable right now.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    I, myself, would DEFINITELY NOT part something like this out...even considering some solid points above on existing likely value reduction. Previous owner mods notwithstanding, it IS an intact and seemingly complete 1953 Tele (or, as previously noted, more likely an Esquire...further reason not to divide it.). Don't add insult to (the guitar's) injury, as it were...
     
    vgallagher, Piotr and Treeface like this.

  3. Doorlord

    Doorlord Tele-Meister

    442
    Sep 5, 2010
    San Dimas
    Anyone know what that cutout on the bridge is for?
     

  4. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    I agree with everything you stated (though I won't personally part this out), but I think you could actually get a decent range if you could find out what a dealer like Gruhn would pay for it and resell it for. Though maybe they're not interested in a guitar this removed from original state?

    I've personally seen Norman's appraise a '63 335 for an offensively low price because of one component on the guitar that wasn't verifiable as Gibson (to them). Even then they offered to buy it and disclosed what they intended to resell it for. The current owner passed on their offer. It's since been evaluated by someone else and the 'unverifiable component' has been verified as authentic, original Gibson AND original to the guitar.
     

  5. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    79
    Aug 13, 2011
    DC
    I would like to sell it, and I doubt a normal collector would be interested. I expect someone who would have interest would want a 1953 tele at 1/3-1/5 of the price. However, I would consider restoring to a degree to increase the value before selling.

    My intent is to sell it to help the friend who gave it to me fund the renovations to the house we are moving in.
     

  6. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    Again, I'm not an expert in this field, but just getting it up and running with a setup and selling it from there would be your way to go, if I were you. Let the buyer decide if a full restore is the route to go. It's already got a chopped up bridge, replaced bridge pickup and some sort of refin. You could walk away with a few grand from nothing out of your pocket 'cept for some basic setup costs. If you want to see more, you'll have to spend more. Of course you've got nothing into, but restoring to get more out of it will require documented proof of the restoration and a verified appraisal that it's an authentic '53 Fender.

    No sense in restoring to sell if you can't get it authenticated.
     
    bender66 and El Tele Lobo like this.

  7. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    ^^This^^ Also, there's no guarantee you'll get more money out of it restoring/refinishing it...and you may possibly get less...which would be a double tragedy.

    I would definitely get it appraised and maybe get a second opinion, if possible, before doing anything more than a setup.
     

  8. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    79
    Aug 13, 2011
    DC
    It actually plays really well currently. I guess the question is what would be a decent offer.
     

  9. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    I'm no expert either. But finds like this don't happen along every day. Hope you get a fair price for it and that it makes a big dent in your restoration costs!
     

  10. Marn99

    Marn99 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    18
    422
    Nov 25, 2016
    Brookfield, WI
    A '53 esquire in need of restoration, now that's pretty cool. Have you tried to find the person who left it behind? I don't know, I would try to search before you sell it, if it were me, buying a guitar with a dark history like that and not knowing the end of the story would seriously creep me out.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

  11. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    Also, just for perspective: A friend of mine has a '52 295 (first year) that he bought a couple of years ago. Current market for that guitar when he bought it was around $7-$8k. He paid $3k. It was a factory refin (probably in the 70's) authenticated and certified by Gruhn. The guy he bought it from Bought it from Gruhn with all proper documentation.

    A Gibson Factory refin knocked down collector value that much.

    It's otherwise completely original (with case). Sure the seller probably could have waited out a higher price, but he wanted it to go to a home where he knew it would get played. Even if he would have waited out a better buyer, I don't think he would have gotten more than another grand for it. Surely it would have gone for less if it had a bashed up non-original type refin, botched bridge and non-original pickups, but you can see that even in this case it didn't hold up to all original examples--a situation that my friend was able to capitalize on.

    I only say this for you to keep in mind that authenticated refin's don't necessarily equate to collector dollars, or even necessarily clean player-grade examples. They might, but you got to find the right buyer. Maybe someone is looking for a '53 made in that month, as an example.

    Whit Smith now has 2 30's L5's that have non-original cutaways on them. I'm sure he got these a great prices relative to original examples, and he likes that they have cutatways for his style of music. Some situations with vintage guitars benefit the buyer even if they're not up to market standards.
     
    Flakey and El Tele Lobo like this.

  12. BopT

    BopT Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2011
    Chicago
    There should be good local shops who can go over the guitar. I don't know east coast
     

  13. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    5k is not too far off i think. You should also check if the neck is not warped and the trussrod still works properly.
     

  14. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2012
    Sou Cal
    I think it's probably legit.
    It's definitely old, how old, I don't know.
    But the condition precludes it as being collectable.
    As a great player I think 3k is the high water mark.
    If you don't plan on keeping it, I'd do a lot of research and if parting it out gets you more money, then why not? You have no emotional attachment.
    But if you always wanted a vintage Tele, then you struck paydirt.
     

  15. CharlotteTele

    CharlotteTele TDPRI Member

    64
    Sep 30, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    1493690692317.jpg

    The bridge on my 52 has cutouts and I've always assumed they were for some kind of tremolo.
     

  16. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

    Or maybe a mute?
     
    CharlotteTele likes this.

  17. Antoon

    Antoon Tele-Holic

    633
    Feb 10, 2010
    Low Lands
    It is 64 years old. Finish, pickguard, pickup and maybe the knobs are newer.
     
    bender66 likes this.

  18. old crow

    old crow TDPRI Member

    74
    Feb 22, 2009
    Vantage
    based on a recent purchase of a 50's mutt, in much better condition, I'd agree w bored guy , that $3k
    would be about tops.
    The belly cut really devalues that body.
    Have you weighed it ?
     
    CharlotteTele likes this.

  19. pulpadded

    pulpadded TDPRI Member

    79
    Aug 13, 2011
    DC

  20. MrTwang

    MrTwang Friend of Leo's

    Feb 9, 2009
    London, England
    If you're going to sell it, I wouldn't bother refinishing it. To a collector, a refin is a refin if it's been done properly or with house paint. The amount its value would increase is pretty much the same as what you'd spend getting it refinished - assuming the buyer liked the new finish.

    A player (a collector probably wouldn't be interested in it) would either buy it, set it up and play it as is or would get it refinished to their own taste.

    I think it would be easier to sell as it is now set up properly so it's playable.
     

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